Question: Why did God choose to save mankind from their sin but not the fallen angels?
The Bible does not explicitly address this question about fallen angels and their chance to repent. However, we can use biblical principles and teachings to bring about some understanding as to why this is. When we read Ephesians 1:11, we know that everything works according to God’s “sovereign” plan. Ephesians 1:11 says, “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”
In addition, we will also need to understand the concept of “election” in the Bible. A definition as given by John Macarthur is: “Election is the act of God whereby in eternity past He chose those who will be saved. Election is unconditional, because it does not depend on anything outside of God, such as good works or foreseen faith (Romans 9:16). This doctrine is repeatedly taught in the Bible, and is also demanded by our knowledge of God. “
The fallen angels chose out of their free will to rebel against God, and God allowed this to happen according to His sovereign plan. As a result, man also fell into sin. The devil deceived man resulting in them disobeying the command of God in the garden of Eden. It is a case then that both the fallen angels and humanity are now under the curse of sin and are under the righteous judgment of God. To solve this problem of sin, God took on flesh so that the full payment of sin was made by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ on the cross. Notice that this once and for all sacrifice was only for humankind. Hebrews 2:16 says, “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (KJV)”
This passage in Hebrews says that Christ did come to save angels, but He came to provide salvation to humanity. Why is this? The Bible clearly teaches that God has sovereignly “elected” those to be saved. This goes for both angelic beings and humanity. For example, 1 Timothy 5:21 says, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.” Now, we see the same for believers. An example is in 1 Peter 1:1-2 saying, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”
We see here that certain angels are called “elect“, and these are the ones who did not rebel against God in the beginning and instead chose to remain with Jehovah. Likewise, believers, who are the elect of God, are made manifest when they “choose” to follow God. This choice is only made possible by the call of God through the work of His Spirit (John 6:44).
Notice here that the elect angels of God did not require a sacrifice for their salvation since they did not rebel against God and did not fall into sin. All those angels who were not of the elect rebelled against God. On the other hand, all humanity fell into sin because of the fall of Adam. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Since all humanity is in sin, all are under the judgment of God. The only solution was through the perfect sacrifice by Christ Jesus. Romans 5:18-21 says, “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
All the elect of Christ were chosen before the foundation of the world, and their election is made sure by the sacrifice of Christ. Ephesians 1:4 says, “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”
In conclusion, all the elect angels of Christ never rebelled against God and remained with Him. No sacrifice was necessary on their account, whereas the non-elect angels rebelled and faced eternal judgment under God. Humanity, on the other hand, was all born in sin. They require a sacrifice to pay for sin so that they may be justified and His elect may receive salvation. Jesus Christ, God Himself, made that sacrifice and, in the process, fully displayed the greatest act of love by taking on the nature of the seed of Abraham and laying His life down for others.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” All others are under the judgment of God. Matthew 25:41 says, “Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Another great article on this subject is the Sermon “Men Chosen — Fallen Angels Rejected” as delivered by Men Chosen — Fallen Angels Rejected (biblehub.com). H. Spurgeon (June 29, 1856):